Tina McKenzie

Tina McKenzie appointed to the CDPB Board of Directors

We are absolutely delighted to announce the appointment of Tina McKenzie to the CDPB Board of Directors.

Welcoming the appointment, CDPB Chairman Lord Alderdice said: “Tina McKenzie is an extraordinary individual, who has already been a huge success in business, but has never lost her heart for the community and her wish to make a contribution to making things better for the next generation. Tina has already given enormous help and support to CDPB as a Special Advisor and it will be a pleasure and a privilege to work with her in this new and expanded role.”

Tina McKenzie is an award-winning Managing Director with over 20 years’ experience in the Recruitment and Employment Services sector within Northern Ireland, GB and international markets. Her experience spans a variety of business verticals including professional services, agri-food and logistics. Having worked internationally providing HR and recruitment consultancy for the world’s largest companies, Tina’s key expertise is in building global employment investment strategies and best people practices.

She returned to her native Northern Ireland in 2013 and today leads all Staffline Group companies in Ireland, including Northern Ireland’s largest recruitment company Diamond Recruitment and leading employment support and justice services provider PeoplePlus NI. Under Tina’s direction Staffline Group in Ireland has grown from a standing start to a turnover of over £60m in less than three years, earning the company UTV/Business Eye’s award for Fast Growth Business of the Year in 2015. This tremendous success also led to Tina securing the Outstanding Leadership & Management Award from Women in Business that same year.

A graduate from Ulster University in Coleraine, Tina is a member of several professional groups including the Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s University, Women in Business NI, Confederation of British Industry, and the Institute of Directors.

She is currently the NI Director for the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, the governing body of the recruitment industry. Tina is a recognised voice for building a new and prosperous Northern Ireland for all and is passionate about helping people gain skills while creating more local opportunities for economic growth.

In 2017 Tina has been appointed as the Honorary Consul for Finland in Northern Ireland.

Peace and Beyond

CDPB to mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in 2018

British Council in association with the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building will host a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in April 2018. It will convene policy makers and peace practitioners from around the world to share reflections and case studies on building effective, inclusive and sustainable peace.

The series of plenary sessions, workshops, site visits and cultural events will create an open, inclusive and safe space for international dialogue to reflect upon the experience of the peace processes across the globe. The events will build on the Northern Ireland experience of and expertise in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. By marking the achievement of the multi-track work that led to the signing of the Agreement, the conference will provide opportunities for international dialogue to reflect on the experience of everyday peacebuilding.

The conference will also reflect on the contribution of partners such as the EU and the USA, as well as the role of Ireland and citizens across the island of Ireland in the achievement and continuation of peace.

The British Council will draw on its global network to bring practitioners, academics and policy makers to Northern Ireland to share lessons learnt from the different approaches in South Africa, Lebanon, Colombia and the Western Balkans. Bringing together political leaders, academics and community activists from around the world, we aim to engage a global audience in this vital dialogue, inspire innovative thinking and practice, and activate a new generation of peacebuilders globally.

Peace and Beyond is organised by the British Council in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, in association with the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building.

Further info on https://www.britishcouncil.org/peace-and-beyond


Lord Alderdice on Fundamentalism, Radicalization and Terrorism

Fundamentalism, Radicalization and Terrorism. Part 1: terrorism as dissolution in a complex systems

In the first of two papers, Lord Alderdice draws on his personal experience of living and working in Northern Ireland and other countries that have suffered from terrorism, and describes from a psychoanalytic and systemic perspective the history of national, cultural and political conflicts which form the backdrop to the struggles against fundamentalism, radicalization and terrorism in current times. By examining and understanding the group dynamics and collective experiences of minority populations that have suffered generations of subjugation, humiliation and injustice at the hands of others, Lord Alderdice demonstrates how terrorism is not an individual but a group phenomenon and that any successful intervention aimed at reducing fundamentalism, radicalization and terrorism needs to identify and take into account the complex relational processes and experiences in all parties involved in the current global conflict.

Read more here: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/ErV56EkqdDk4Dxz6qgSJ/full

Fundamentalism, Radicalization and Terrorism. Part 2: fundamentalism, regression and repair

Prior to the watershed events of 11 September 2001, terrorism was generally seen simply as politically motivated, criminal violence. Since then the phenomena of religious fundamentalism, political radicalization and terrorism have become fused in the public mind, partly under the influence of the political and military reaction described as the ‘War on Terror’ and its successors. While there is clearly an important overlap in the religious thinking of some fundamentalists, the radical agenda of political Islamist groups and the violent activities of those who currently use the tactics of terrorism, these are not identical phenomena, and treating everyone who falls into one of these groups as the same as all the others has exacerbated rather than improved global security. In the second of two papers based on his work with terrorist organizations and areas of the world embroiled in entrenched conflict, Lord Alderdice develops a different approach informed by psychoanalytical principles and systems and complexity theories to clarify some of the boundaries and overlapping elements of these three phenomena. This approach not only provides a more evidence-based analysis, but also permits a more reflective and constructive response to these clear and present dangers.

Read more here: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/xuzAzxF76PDNaZcVACui/full


CDPB to participate in the World Science Forum 2017

Thanks to the invitation from the Global Thinkers Forum, the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building is delighted to partner with the WANA Institute and host the session at the World Science Forum in Jordan.

World Science Forum 2O17 theme is Science for Peace. It will engage the world of science and redefine the global potential of scientific communities and policymakers to bring real change to our interlinked societies.

CDPB is delighted to co-curate and participate in the Emerging Concerns in Managing Radicalisation among Youth session.

Current geo-political challenges in the Middle East impact how researchers and policy makers can manage radicalisation among youth. New forms of extremism are likely to re-emerge despite the military defeat of Daesh, particularly that the political and socio-economic structures and ideologies that contributed to the phenomenon remain intact in the region. Recent developments in Europe also point to an increase in radical lone wolves compared to earlier threats of organised armed groups. These challenges raise important question into best approaches to manage radicalisation as a spiritual-ideological quest, and as a response to structural frustrations.

This session draws on multi-disciplinary research in Europe and the Middle East with insight from field research with fighters and returnees to addresses crucial questions like:

• How does the spiritual factor enhance or undermine CVE efforts? How the spiritual interacts with the structural in understanding radicalisation and necessary CVE efforts?
• How can policy makers and CVE stakeholders introduce behavioural and ideological transformations that can delegitimise extremist ideologies?
• What are the prospects and challenges for reintegrating returnees in local communities with the current legal and communal infrastructure?
• How can current knowledge and practices on CVE be revised and re-designed for efficient preventive CVE measures?

Dr Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck, El Erian Fellow, The Carnegie Middle East Center (CMEC), Beirut, will moderate the panel discussion.


Dr Neven Bondokji, West Asia North Africa Institute
Eva Grosman, Centre for Democracy and Peace Building
Professor Mike Hardy, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University
Amin Nehme, Lebanese Development Network

The session will take place on Friday, November 10 at 11.30am.


Conor Houston to address the One Young World in Bogota

Conor Houston, Consultant with the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building will address the One Young World global youth summit taking place from 3 to 7 October in Bogota, Colombia.

The One Young World 2017 will bring together over 2000 young leaders from 190 countries around the world as well as international figures including Kofi Annan, Sir Bob Geldof and President Santos of Colombia.

Conor will speak as part of the ‘Peace & Reconciliation’ session and also deliver a workshop with Belfast entrepreneur Peter Edgar on ‘How to drive change: a lesson from Northern Ireland’.

The two young leaders will be appointed ‘One Young World Ambassadors’ at the event and are being supported by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and the British Council.

Peter Edgar said: “We are excited about the opportunity to tell the story of growing up in post-conflict Northern Ireland and will explore our work in setting up the Young Influencer network and other groups in connecting young people who are committed to Northern Ireland realising its potential through social and economic innovation.”

Conor will also launch his ‘Connected Citizens’ initiative at One Young World which seeks to connect world’s most passionate, dynamic and innovative citizens to inspire them to build a more peaceful, compassionate and resilient world.

Speaking ahead of the summit Conor said “our message is one of hope – to share the experience of Northern Ireland which is emerging from conflict towards peace. The challenge now is to ensure that everyone has the ability to benefit from the opportunities of peace.” He continued: “my generation has the responsibility to be the bridge-builders between peace and prosperity. I am proud to represent Northern Ireland on the global stage, proving we are able to lead and inspire the world.”

Navigating Brexit

CDPB are launching the next phase of their EU Debate NI programme ‘Navigating Brexit: A Roundtable Series’.

Over the next 6 months, EU Debate NI will host 5 Roundtable events which will provide a space for informed discussion focused on developing flexible and imaginative solutions for Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

These Roundtable events will involve key stakeholders from across the private, public and community sectors to encourage a solutions-orientated approach, informed by leading academic expertise.

These thematic events will focus on how we navigate the Brexit process, solutions for the post-Brexit UK-EU relationship and policy priorities in the context of devolution.

The Roundtable events will include:

• Trade: retaining and enhancing the competitiveness of NI businesses
• Ensuring co-operation and strategic partnerships on the environment and agri-food sectors
• Ensuring co-operation and strategic partnerships on the environment and energy sectors”
• Maintaining the Common Travel Area, citizenship & rights
• Building our knowledge economy: the Higher Education solution

Key Observers, including representatives on the NI Civil Service, UK Government and other relevant decision-makers will be invited to all events.

The launch ‘Navigating Brexit: A Roundtable Series’ will take place at the Ulster Bank Entrepreneurial Spark in Belfast, 8-9.30am on Thursday 7th September 2017.

This event will outline the Roundtable programme and include a briefing from Professor David Phinnemore on the current status of the Brexit negotiations.

‘Navigating Brexit: A Roundtable Series’ is supported by Diamond Recruitment.

To attend the launch on 7 September please register via: https://getinvited.to/cdpb/brexit/


EU Debate NI: Professor David Phinnemore, QUB on EU/UK talks

Almost a year after the UK’s vote to leave the EU, Brexit negotiations began in Brussels on 19 June. Under the terms of Article 50, an initial agreement has to be reached by the end of March 2019. There is no deadline for a longer-term trade and partnership deal. Professor David Phinnemore explains what are the key issues and deadlines in the EU/UK talks and what is at stake for Northern Ireland.



Scissor Sisters Ana Matronic set for TEDxStormont Women event later this year

Ana Matronic from the world-famous band Scissor Sisters is set to address TEDxStormont Women taking place at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on 2 November.

The Scissor Sisters frontwoman and robot obsessive, Ana Matronic has written about her love of robotics in her book ‘Robot Takeover’ which looks at 100 of the most iconic robots from popular culture. The book also explores robots in music, art and fashion.

The third in the series of TEDxStormont Women events is organized and curated by CDPB’s CEO Eva Grosman. The theme this year is ‘Bridges’ and will bring some of the high profile speakers from varied backgrounds such as journalism, music, business and the arts to Belfast for the nearly sold out event. 12 speakers in total are lined up to take part with over 250 guests expected to attend on the evening.

Standing on the iconic red dot, speakers will have 12 minutes or less to share their ideas about the ways in which we build bridges, traverse them, and sometimes even burn them, for better or worse.

Other speakers announced so far include:

  • Elizabeth Filippouli, Founder & CEO, Global Thinkers Forum
  • June Burgess, Property developer, leadership coach and international equestrian
  • Maxine Mawhinney, International journalist, and broadcaster
  • Jayne Gallagher, Managing Director, Legal-Island
  • Rosemary Jenkinson, Writer, artist-in-residence, Lyric Belfast
  • Clare Mulley, Award-winning author, historian of women and war
  • Vanessa Woolf, Professional storyteller
  • Lyra McKee, Freelance journalist, writer, editor
  • Naomh McElhatton, Digital educator
  • The event will be compered by former broadcaster Sarah Travers.

    The event, which is locally and independently organised, brings the TEDx brand back to the iconic Stormont. Started as a four-day conference in California in 1984, TED and the TEDx programme has grown to support world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives.

    Tickets can be purchased at http://www.tedxstormont.com/ and further updates can be found on Twitter @TEDxStormont.


    Crans Montana Forum: Changes, Populist Upheavals and the World of Tomorrow

    On the occasion of the Crans Montana Forum’s 28th Annual Session, a Special Programme of the New Leaders for Tomorrow took place in Barcelona (Spain) on July 6th, 2017.

    CDPB Chief Executive Eva Grosman spoke at the special session on “Changes, Populist Upheavals and the World of Tomorrow”. Among the topics addressed were the European Union, the Brexit and the Turkish Situation as well as the first few months of the American Presidency.

    The Crans Montana Forum is a Swiss Non-Governmental International Organization established in 1986. Its oldest Forums are held each year in Crans-Montana (CH-VS) and Geneva (CH-GE). The Forum works with major international organisations, governments, businesses and NGOs.

    The Crans Montana Forum works to build a “more humane and impartial world” and encourages international cooperation and growth. It also works to promote best practices and to ensure a permanent dialogue between high-level stakeholders.

    The first annual Crans Montana Forum, in 1990, was dedicated to political and economic reconstruction in a Europe then open in the aftermath of the Cold War. The various Forums organised worldwide (Brussels, Geneva, Rabat, Dakhla, Vienna, Crans-Montana, Bucharest, Baku, Zagreb, Roma, Sarajevo, Tirana, Athens, Malta, Bahrain) represent exceptional opportunities for businesses and government officials to develop and strengthen relationships with partners across the globe.

    More information at: http://www.cmf.ch

    John Portrait (8 of 12)

    Lord Alderdice: Change and Challenge

    Democracy_and_Peace_Annual2017-coverChairman’s Remarks – CDPB Annual Report 2017

    Change and Challenge

    The last year has again seen a remarkable level of activity for the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, from the excitement of our Van Morrison fund-raiser, to our rapidly expanding international activities and our engagement with ground-breaking digital developments. However across the world, it has been a disturbingly challenging time for those of us committed to democracy and peace building.

    Our EU Debate NI initiative was an enormous success, but while Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU the people of the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave.  So now we face a new challenge – how to get the best outcome we can for the people of Northern Ireland – and CDPB is making its contribution to the thinking necessary in London, Dublin, Belfast and Brussels.

    On its own Brexit would have been a major challenge, but the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the second in less than a year, were another watershed.  For the first time since partition in a province-wide election the unionist parties saw their majority melting away, and instead of the election enabling a return to a functioning Assembly and Executive, it resulted in more uncertainty.  Unless agreement can be reached by the Northern Ireland parties before the end of June, the snap Westminster General Election may well be followed by yet another Assembly Election in the autumn, and neither of these contests is likely to improve relationships at the top political level nor bring a clear resolution of the problems.

    Our on-going community programmes like Music Unite continue to do excellent work, but we are faced with the same financial challenges as others in the public and community sectors largely because the absence of a functioning Executive makes significant resource decisions impossible.  We have been cooperating with others, and especially with British Council, to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in April 2018, and if our plans come to fruition we hope that we will be celebrating in the context of more hurdles overcome in the Peace Process and new lessons learnt.

    Whatever the challenges at home, they pale in significance against the global canvas.  While President Santos received the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership of the Colombian Peace Process, and we continue to work with our colleagues there on the implementation of last year’s agreement between the Government and FARC, there is no hiding the difficulties faced from the beginning of the implementation of the accord.  That said, it is one of the few significant peace processes anywhere in the world that is still making progress.  Democracy, peace building, and even truth in the public space have faced serious challenges across the world, not just in the descent into chaos in the wider Middle East, but in the unravelling of the European Project, the loss of by the United States of America of any sense of moral leadership, and the host of other crises and conflicts that have arisen on land and sea and in cyber space. Nowhere seems immune or entirely safe.

    The Board of CDPB is determined to ensure that we do all we can to contribute to overcoming the problems faced by democracy and peace building at home and abroad, and in addition to internal restructuring we are engaging more closely with our partners, especially the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at based at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford.  We will only be successful if we strengthen our network of relationships.

    I would like to express my personal appreciation to my Board colleagues, not least Liam Maskey who was with us from the start, but has stepped down from the Board for personal reasons.  I also want to note the wonderful work of Conor Houston who continues with us as Programme Director and Consultant but as his reputation has grown he is unsurprisingly in demand from many other sources, not least with his appointment as a Governor of the Irish Times Trust – congratulations Conor.

    Most of all of course, I am joined by my Board colleagues in expressing our deepest appreciation and gratitude to our CEO, Eva Grosman.  She carries a prodigious work load with irrepressible charm, extraordinary energy, and a serious and profound commitment to all the causes which the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building was founded to promote.  All of you who know anything of CDPB, know how fortunate we are to have Eva, and as you read in this report about the work of CDPB over the past year, you will see the positive signs of Eva’s engagement in every single activity and project.

    In this difficult and uncertain time you will be encouraged by what it is possible to achieve, and I hope that we can depend on you to work with us in making the next twelve months a better one for democracy and peace building.

    John, Lord Alderdice

    You can download CDPB Annual Report 2017 HERE.